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  Editor's Note

Preparing this issue for publication has been a challenge.

It has been six months since the events of Sept. 11--time enough to gain some small perspective on that day, but not nearly long enough to digest its implications. What Sept. 11 has come to mean to me, I suppose, is a renewed understanding of the magnitude of each individual life and the momentousness of each seemingly mundane day. That understanding has been brought to me by seven people who, though technically strangers, have become something else.

I did not know Ted Brennan, Tom Burke, Neilie Casey, John Farrell, Todd Isaac, Beth Quigley or John Ryan. But I've spent the last few months staring at their pictures and reading the words of remembrance and tribute from their family members, friends and classmates. What those words and images convey, along with an overwhelming sense of love and loss, is an awareness of individual identity. In the moments that I read of Tom Burke--"Burkey"--pushing his sons on a backyard tree swing, or of an eight-year-old John Farrell, stopping with his family at the College Square Howard Johnson's and spotting his "dream college," these strangers come alive for me. As you page through the magazine and look at these snapshots of their lives, I hope you'll feel that same sense of connection.

We've also solicited the opinions and reflections of some of our faculty and alumni regarding "the meaning of 9/11." These responses are the beginning of a campus dialogue about the implications of a historic and horrific event. They call to mind, I think, the question that lies at the heart of our First-Year Program--"How, then, shall we live?"

You might agree or disagree with what you find in these essays. But the act of engaging in the debate is at the heart of what we do at Holy Cross. And to share our ideas and insights, to allow ourselves to shape and be shaped by our interaction with others, is to reject the numbing brutality and the sense of helplessness that continue to emanate from Sept. 11.

We will spend this six-month anniversary remembering the fallen and reflecting on the significance of our loss. And in this way, we will find the strength to move into the days and years ahead.

Jack O'Connell




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